TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie defended his Acting Education Commissioner today on the same week the Senate yanked the nominee from a scheduled Thursday hearing.
A source told PolitickerNJ.com that Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), West Deptford, worries about Chris Cerf’s residency.
Christie said that worry is unfounded.
“I heard they were pulling his name. What I will tell you is Commissioner Cerf has never hidden the fact that he has two homes in the state,” said Christie. “He has changed his driver’s license to the Montgomery address and changed his voter registration to Montgomery.
“I would understand that the Senate would have some questions but once they look at the objective facts, I don’t think there’s any doubt that that’s where his residence is,” Christie added. “If it weren’t for the completely baseless use of senatorial courtesy by Sen. Rice, he would have been confirmed a year ago.”
The Essex County-based Rice is blocking Cerf in Cerf’s capacity as a resident of Montclair.
“In the end if they look at the factual evidence they are all in Commissioner Cerf’s favor,” Christie said.
He lashed out at Rice.
“Let him run for governor. Then he can make those determinations. I’m entitled to my Cabinet and I am entitled to him getting a confirmation hearing,” the governor said of Cerf. “It’s not his right, in my view.
“It’s more difficult for us to recruit people to education because people think he is there in a temporary capacity,” Christie added, referring to the “acting” tag in front of Cerf’s title.